Mumbai: Nine pregnant women were among the 1050 passengers who got trapped in the Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express when the train was stranded due to heavy flooding. However, an unprecedented rescue operations by the NDRF, Air Force, Army and the Navy rescued everyone on board.
The quick response of the Maharashtra government and the Center was instrumental in averting a huge tragedy.
The Mahalaxmi Express got stranded when the Ulhas river flooded after incessant rains. The train reached had only 65 km from Mumbai when it could not proceed further because of water logging on the tracks.
The operation jointly conducted by the NDRF, Air Force, Army and Navy lasted 10 hours along the banks of the river Ulhas. After the first call of help from the train, the Maharashtra government began a coordinated rescue operation.
7 Navy units, 2 helicopters of the Air Force, 4 Army columns, took part in the rescue. The operation was overlooked by Western Naval Command, Chief Secretary of Maharashtra and the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai.
The rescue operation that began by 9.43 am after NDRF inflatable boats reached the train ended around 2 pm when the final passenger was evacuated to safety. A special train from Kalyan transported the passengers to Kolhapur.